Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

February 29, 2012 15:35 ET

CNSC Announces Decision on Renewal of Operating Licence for Cameco Corporation's Uranium Conversion Facility in Port Hope, Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2012) - Following a two-day public hearing, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to renew for a period of five years the Nuclear Fuel Facility Operating Licence for Cameco Corporation's Port Hope Conversion Facility located in Port Hope, Ontario. The licence will be valid from March 1, 2012 to February 28, 2017.

The Commission, in making its decision, considered information presented for a public hearing held on November 3, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario and on January 17 and 18, 2012 in Port Hope, Ontario. During the public hearing, the Commission received and considered submissions from Cameco Corporation and 97 intervenors, as well as CNSC staff's recommendations.

The Commission is satisfied that the licensee meets the requirements of section 24 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, and concludes that Cameco Corporation is qualified to carry out the activities that will be permitted under the renewed licence, and that it will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons, and the maintenance of national security and measures required to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed.

The Commission has denied Cameco's request to retain the licence condition regarding the release of treated liquid effluent. The Commission is of the view that Cameco has taken a positive step in removing these releases and encourages Cameco to avoid reverting to past practices. The Commission acknowledges the reasons for Cameco's request and notes that Cameco can apply for a licence amendment in the future if Cameco considers it absolutely necessary to resume this practice. The Commission expects that Cameco would submit a detailed proposal at that time.

With this decision, the Commission directs CNSC staff to prepare an annual industry report that includes the results of compliance activities carried out during the licence period pertaining to this facility. The report should also include detailed information on emissions and the movement of the groundwater plume on the Port Hope Conversion site. CNSC staff shall present their report at a public proceeding of the Commission, in the fall of each year.

The Summary Record of Proceedings and Decision is available upon request to the Commission Secretariat. The detailed Record of Proceedings, including Reasons for Decision will be available, in both official languages, on the CNSC web site at a later date. Transcripts of the hearing are available on the CNSC Web site at www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca, or by contacting the CNSC. The webcast of the hearing is archived on the same site for a period of 90 days.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment; and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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